The Long Field


Category Memoir
Hiraeth is a quintessential Welsh word, famously hard to translate. It means far more than its English approximation of ‘homesickness’; it is something like a bone-deep longing for an irretrievable place, person, or time. An acute awareness of the presence of absence.

The Long Field braids the essential hiraeth stories of Wales with Pamela Petro’s own life - as an American who loves Wales, as a gay
woman, as the survivor of a train crash, as the daughter of a parent with dementia. Through the pull and tangle of these stories we find both traditional and radical new ways of looking at hiraeth. The hiraeth of place and home, yes. But also queer hiraeth. And hiraeth triggered
by technology, immigration, ecological crises, and our new divisive politics.

On this journey the notion of hiraeth begins to morph, from a uniquely Welsh experience to one endemic to the human condition, from deep longing towards the sort of creative responses to loss which Petro sees as the genius of Welsh culture.